The History A Level Course has been designed to help students understand the significance of historical events, the role of individuals in history and the nature of change over time. This qualification will help students to gain a deeper understanding of the past through political, social, economic and cultural perspectives. The course will build on the understanding of the past taught at GCSE level through a balanced course of study.

This home study course follows the new linear A-Level syllabus. If students want to complete the new linear AS Level course then this can be purchased from the AS Level section of our website.

Each lesson begins with a set of clearly stated objectives and an explanation of its place in the overall programme of study. Effective learning is encouraged through frequent activities and self- assessment questions. There are 20 Tutor-Marked Assignments (known as TMAs) including 3 mock exam assignments.

Please Note: The course fee includes the marking of coursework from your course tutor, although associated examination fees will need to be paid separately when you register for your exams.

This course is divided into the following modules:

  • Introductory Module: How to Study History at A-level
  • Module 1 (1G) - Challenge and Transformation: Victorian and Edwardian Britain, c1851–1914

This module allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period.

The following topics are covered: Britain in 1851: Pride and Uncertainty; Social Challenges; Ireland 1845-1886; Mid-Victorian Boom – and Flight; The Working Classes and Self-Help; Party Politics 1851-1886; Play the Game: Victorian Sport; Education; Waning Power; The Working Class: Organisation and Representation; Ireland, 1886-1914; and Politics 1886-1906.

  • Module 2 (2Q) - The American Dream: Reality and Illusion: Prosperity, Inequality and Superpower Status, 1945–1963

This module is an in-depth study of the challenges faced by the USA at home and abroad as it emerged from the Second World War as a Superpower.

The following topics are covered: The USA in 1945; The USA as a Superpower; Reconstruction and McCarthyism; Racial Tensions and Civil Rights 1945-52; Eisenhower; The US Economy in the 1950s; USA and the Cold War 1952-60; Racial Tensions and Civil Rights (2) 1952-60; JFK and the 1960 Election; Challenges to US Authority internationally, early 60s; JFK and Civil Rights; and The USA by 1963.

  • Module 3 (1G) - Challenge and Transformation: The World Wars and their Legacies: Britain, 1914–1964

This module focuses on The Great War and its impact on Britain and the transformation and change afterwards.

The following topics are covered: Edwardian Twilight: Liberal Britain, 1906-1914; The Impact of World War One; Post-War Challenges, 1919-1929; The Rise of Labour; The Role of Women, 1906-1939; Social and Cultural Change during the Inter-War Period; The Changing Political Landscape in the Inter-War Period; The Work of the National Government in dealing with Economic Crisis; The Policies and Personalities of the Wartime Coalition Government; The New Jerusalem: Labour 1945-51; Ireland, 1914-1964; and ‘Never Had it So Good’? Britain, 1951-1964.

  • Module 4 (2Q): The American Dream: Reality and Illusion: Challenges to the American Dream, 1963–1980

This module focuses on the challenges faced by the USA during the Johnson Presidency (1963–1968) and the Nixon Presidency (1968–1974) and the preceeding years after Watergate (1974–1980).

The following topics are covered: LB Johnson as President; Vietnam and US Foreign Policy; Racial Tensions and Civil Rights; Social divisions and protest movements; The 1968 Presidential election and its aftermath; The restoration of conservative social policies; Vietnam and the limits of American world power; The Watergate Affair; The Ford and Carter Presidencies; The position of the USA as a world power in the 1970s; Racial Tensions and Civil Rights; and The USA in 1980.

  • Module 5 - Coursework Module: Black American Inequality in the United States c1780-1900

Students will be required to submit a Historical Investigation based on a development or issue which has been subject to different historical interpretations. Full guidance is given in the course pack and the course tutor will manage the authentication, marking and moderation of your coursework.

The following topics are covered: The Founding Fathers and Slavery; Black Americans before the Civil War; Causes of the American Civil War; The Civil War and the End of Slavery; Presidential Reconstruction; Congressional or Radical Reconstruction; The Development of Jim Crow; The Supreme Court and Jim Crow; Black Agency; and Working on your Historical Investigation

The Syllabus:

Students can study for the AQA History 7041/7042 A Level Specification sitting exams in May/June 2020 or later years.


  • Paper 1: History 1 - Breadth Study (2 Hours 30 Minutes) is 80 marks in total (40% of A-level).
  • Paper 2: History 2 - Depth Study (2 Hours 30 Minutes) is 80 marks in total (40% of A-level).
  • Paper 3: Coursework - A 3000-3500 word Historical Investigation is 40 marks in total (20% of A-level).

Please Note: Coursework Authentication, Marking & Moderation:

This A level has coursework which will be marked by your course tutor. Due to Awarding Body changes your tutor will now manage the authentication, marking and moderation of your coursework and operate as the initial entering examination centre. A fee of £110.00 will be required for your exam registration when you are ready to register for the exams (Usually January).

Students will then need to find a host centre to sit their exams and a transfer of entry fee (Currently £30.00) for the switch to a host exam centre. The host exam centre will then most likely charge an administration fee for invigilation (This will vary between centres).

Coursework marking and examination fees have always been associated costs but a single centre would usually be responsible for all fees, but due to the introduction of NEA (Non Examined Assessment) regulations, fees will now have to be split between the entering centre, which will mark the NEA/coursework, and the host centre which will administer the exam.

This essentially means a student completing an A Level specification with coursework will be paying an additional £30.00 for the exam transfer fee plus whatever administration fees would be charged by the host centre.


We will admit Candidates for A Level Courses who have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade C and above. For History this should include both English and History GCSE.

Please Note: We cannot accept students who are under 18 years old on this course. We do have an alternative course option for students who are under 18. Please email us if you require additional information about this alternative course. 

Additional Reading:

History, more than any subject, requires you to read far more than a single supporting text. The most essential books linked to this course are as follows:

  • AQA A-level History: Britain 1851-1964: Challenge and Transformation by Nick Shepley & Mike Byrne (ISBN: 978-1471837593)
  • Oxford A level History for AQA: Challenge and Transformation: Britain c1851-1964 by Ailsa Fortune (ISBN: 978-0198354666)
  • Oxford A level History for AQA: The American Dream: Reality and Illusion 1945-1980 by Mark Stacey (ISBN: 978-0198354550)
  • United States Civil War: causes, course and effects, 1840-77 by Alan Farmer (ISBN: 978-1444156508)

Please Note: We recommend purchasing any books after receiving your course materials to make sure there have been no revisions.

Student Support:

Every student receives a personal tutor with whom they should keep in regular contact. All tutors are fully qualified experienced teachers holding either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or a degree in education. Most work from home and are able to offer flexible contact times. The tutor will contact students with an introductory letter and a telephone call to help decide on a study plan. They will also let the student know the best ways and times for contact.

There is no limit on how often you can contact your tutor. The advice and encouragement our tutors provide are an important part of your learning experience. You can contact your tutor by Phone, Post or Email. There are tutor-marked assignments (TMA's) in every course. These help the student to consolidate their learning and prepare for examinations.

All tutors have a Freephone 0800 telephone number and most will have Skype capabilities. Whilst you are still actively submitting assignments, you should expect to be in contact with your tutor regularly. Remember, to get the most out of your tutor, you will need to tell them when you need assistance.

Examination Centres & Examination Fees:

All distance learning students will sit their exams as a private candidate in a registered school or college. The finding of an examination centre and the booking of exams is the responsibility of the student. In December/January students are contacted and advised to start arranging their examinations. AQA have over 300 exam centres in the UK. Examination officers are available to registered students for advice on finding suitable centres or you can use AQA’s Private Candidate Page which details information about being a private candidate and has a search facility showing a small selection of centres set out geographically.

The new Linear format examinations all need to be sat in a single examination window on completion of your studies. Examination fees need to be paid direct to your chosen exam centre. Prices for exams will vary depending on the exam centre’s administration costs so it is worth contacting a few centres to compare prices.

Nearest Examination Dates:

Please review the A Level Overview page for detailed information on possible examination dates and procedures.

Studying from Abroad:

It is possible to study A Level Courses from anywhere in the world. However some courses are easier to study from abroad than others and some restrictions to the type of tuition available apply. If you wish to study an A Level then you will need to sit the examinations in the UK. Please remember that most A Level's have several examinations which may well be spread over several weeks.

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